CHY 4U 2011: Slaying Our Problems

Everyone has problems. Leaders can be overwhelmed by the array of issues that demand their attention. Artists often struggle to find inspiration, an elusive catalyst that will lead to honest emotion and insight. Celebrities, presumably, find it difficult to maintain a balance between media exposure and the very human need for privacy.

My biggest problem is dragons.

Dragons, you see, are difficult to kill.  They glide through the air, distant and beautiful, only to suddenly lunge with terrifying speed at their prey, covering miles of territory in moments. Their attacks are varied and plentiful: I have yet to discover an effective counter to the deadly breath, the imposing talons, or the club-like tail, all of which can devastate prey from the air.  Once dragons land, my odds are not much better; their hides are so thick that my sharpest weapons seem utterly useless.

I suppose I could simply walk away. I could avoid the dragon, and concentrate on the various side missions offered by my favourite video game.  I could buy a solution, perhaps in the form of a special sword or piece of armour that would counter a dragon’s formidable arsenal.  I could, of course, simply turn off my Xbox, and relegate dragon-slaying  to the same place we put all of our problems that we are not properly equipped to counter.

These options crossed my mind as I stood face to snout with a large dragon from the north.  It had already defeated me four times, and my odds showed no signs of improving. Just as I was about to start half-heartedly swinging my sword, however, I noticed something in the distance, just over the dragon’s wing: a lumbering giant walking aimlessly through a field.  I had passed by the giant before.  When I had tried to engage the beast in conversation, he had barely noticed me; he had shuffled past, glanced briefly in my direction, and continued on his seemingly pointless trek.

Would he, however, notice a dragon?

Luckily for me, giants and dragons don’t seem to get along. As soon as I ran into the giant’s vicinity, the giant launched an attack that got the beast’s attention. Together, the giant and I slew my problem.  Once the dragon was dead, the giant walked away, ignoring me entirely.

What does this have to do with you? Everything.  Starting next week, we will conduct a series of conferences based on your work to date. The purpose of these conferences is for us to attack your problem–together. A lack of evidence? Unclear arguments? Uncertain focus? Whatever the issue, you, the intrepid hero, and I, the lumbering and often distracted giant, will unleash a furious onslaught of attacks that will eclipse anything your problem can produce. Once we are victorious, you will claim all the treasure; I, of course, will return to my aimless wanderings.

Let the dragon-slaying commence.

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